Activists demonstrated outside Savills’s flagship headquarters on Friday, protesting against “extortionate” letting fees.
Dressed as burglars to highlight their claims of “daylight robbery”, the demonstrators from renters’ rights group Digs formed a wall outside Savills’ office close to Oxford Circus in central London.
The barricade meant that some Savills staff were stranded outside, according to reports, although EYE understands this was not so.
The office, on the corner of Margaret Street and Regent Street, employs some 900 people.
Demo organiser Danny Hayward said: “Letting agents are incredibly well organised and well funded, and right now they’re using this funding and power to derail the ban on extortionate fees. Everyone who rents, knows this ban is long overdue.
“Greedy letting agents hold the keys to our homes, and in a captive market like London, with such a shortage of affordable homes, letting agents can and do charge whatever they like.
“Letting agents need to know how strongly we feel about this. That’s why we’re taking action. If they want to carry on trying to derail this ban, they’ll have a fight on their hands. They should do the decent thing and drop their opposition to the fees ban.
“The Government must stick to its guns. Right now it needs to show that it puts the needs of the UK’s 9m renters above the commercial interests of letting agents.”
A Savills spokesperson said: “Savills can confirm that a number of individuals gathered outside its offices on Friday, seemingly to protest about letting agency fees.
“Savills was not contacted prior to the event. Security and police were on site and able to deal with the matter.”
Separately, another tenants’ activists group Acorn, under the banner ‘Renters Rising’, is running a vote registration campaign aimed at getting tenants, young people and homeless people to take part in the election.